Recco’s Famous Cheese Filled Flatbread
In the town of Recco in the region of Liguria, this filled flatbread is a classic.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing pan and brushing on the focaccia
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plus 2–4 tablespoons cold water
12 ounces crescenza or stracchino cheese, broken into small clumps
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
1. Brush a 13-inch perforated pizza pan with olive oil and set aside.
2. Mix ¼ cup olive oil, flour, salt and water in a bowl until a ball is formed. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it until smooth and soft. Cover and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a 14-inch round. Lift the dough with your hands and stretch it using your knuckles, rotating the dough clockwise as you stretch it. It should be thin enough to see through.
4. Line the pan with one sheet of dough and allow the excess to overhang the edges. Place soup-spoon-size dabs of cheese
randomly on the dough.
5. Repeat the rolling and stretching of the second half of dough. Place the second half of stretched dough over the cheese, allowing the excess to overhang the pan. Trim the edges of the dough so there is about a 1-inch overhang. Pinch the 2 dough edges together to seal them.
6. With scissors, make random small cuts in the top dough to allow steam to escape. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with coarse salt.
7. Bake until golden brown and puffed. Transfer the focaccia to a cooling rack. Cool slightly before cutting into wedges. Serve warm.
• Use the leftover dough to make an 8-inch torta di formaggio.
• Use the leftover dough to make wine crackers: Roll the dough out into a thin rectangle, brush it with olive oil and sprinkle coarse salt over the top. Cut into small squares, place on a lightly oiled baking pan, and bake at 375ºF for about 5–8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the crackers on a wire rack.
• For the cheese, crescenza vaschetta (Mauri brand) was used for this recipe. The cheese is available in Italian specialty stores and online.